in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for their wind and solar energy potential.

The EPA estimates that, nationwide, there are approximately 490,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties. According to the EPA and the DOE, the new tools give local communities and landowners ways to evaluate these sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise.

The alternative energy “decision trees,” leverage NREL’s knowledge of renewable energy technologies and EPA’s experience in returning contaminated lands to productive use.

“Opportunities to install renewable energy systems on vacant properties can be found in every community," says Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Tapping sun and wind power at brownfield sites, rooftops, parking lots and abandoned land could provide untapped gigawatts of clean energy.”

The City of Richmond, Calif., is serving as a pilot community for the development of these new tools. Using the decision trees, state and local governments, site owners and community members can help identify the most desirable sites for wind and solar installations from both a logistical and economic standpoint.

In addition to opportunities in cities, thousands of potentially contaminated acres in less-populated areas across the country could be put to beneficial reuse with renewable energy, the agencies add.

The tools can be used to evaluate individual or multiple sites - such as brownfields, Superfund and other hazardous waste sites, abandoned parcels, landfills, parking lots, and commercial or industrial roofs - depending on the technology.



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Senate Passes Tax Extenders Bill With Wind PTC Extension

The legislation, which passed in the U.S. House earlier this month, will renew the critical production tax credit through the end of 2014 - giving developers only about two weeks left to start construction.


Transmission Study Shows Nebraska Could Handle A Lot More Wind Power

A new report released by the Nebraska Power Review Board finds that the state already has enough infrastructure to accommodate at least 2 GW of additional wind generation.


Can Wind Energy And Birds Coexist? Environmental Group Says Yes

The Environmental Defense Fund, a supporter of responsible wind energy development, points out ways to help mitigate impacts of turbines on birds and bats.


Another Study Finds Wind Turbines Do Not Affect Nearby Property Values

Research conducted by the University of Guelph focused on regions in Ontario, and the conclusion echoes that of previous studies.


Too Little, Too Late? U.S. House Approves Wind PTC Extension

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a tax extenders package that would renew the wind production tax credit (PTC) and about 50 other expired tax breaks through 2014. The wind industry argues the short-term fix is virtually no fix at all.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015